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Women filmmakers denounce Spanish cinema prize for Johnny Depp

They say that awarding the actor the Donostia award for lifetime achievement sends "a terrible message to the public". 

Women filmmakers denounce Spanish cinema prize for Johnny Depp
Spain’s most high-profile group of female filmmakers denounced the San Sebastian film festival’s decision to award Johnny Depp its highest honour for acting on Monday Aug. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)

Spain's leading group of women filmmakers on Tuesday (Aug 10) condemned the San Sebastian film festival’s decision to award Johnny Depp its highest honour, saying it gave the international event a bad name after a British judge ruled last year that allegations of domestic violence against the actor were “substantially correct".

Cristina Andreu, the President of Spain's Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, said she was “very surprised” by the decision, announced on Monday, to award Depp the Donostia Award at the festival’s 69th edition next month. The award is the event's top prize and aims to honour lifetime achievement.

“This speaks very badly of the festival and its leadership, and transmits a terrible message to the public: 'It doesn't matter if you are an abuser as long as you are a good actor'," Andreu told The Associated Press.

The association, which has close links to the San Sebastian festival, was “studying next steps”, she added.

The San Sebastian International Film Festival, held in northern Spain, takes place Sep 1725 this year. Depp is expected to receive the award in person on Sep 22, in what will be his third appearance at the event.

An emailed request for comment from Depp’s publicist in Los Angeles went unanswered outside office hours.

Last year, Depp lost a libel case against a British newspaper that accused him of domestic violence, with a judge ruling the allegations were “substantially correct”. In March, a British court refused Depp permission to appeal the ruling that he assaulted his former wife, Amber Heard, saying his attempt to overturn the decision had “no real prospect of success”.

Depp also is suing Heard for US$50 million (S$68 million) in Virginia over a Washington Post op-ed essay that she wrote about domestic violence. The trial in that case was recently delayed until April 2022.

Source: AP/sr

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